Vintage Report 2009.
May 10, 2009
The growing season started with good weather over flowering (November/December), always a promising sign.
Early 2009 produced one of the hottest/driest Januarys on record followed by one of the coldest/wettest Februarys on record !
At the end of February it was difficult to see where the vintage was headed.
Fortunately as so often happens we had wonderful weather during March and April, warm days followed by cool nights, no rain to speak of has meant that 2009 will go down as one of Marlborough's classic vintages.
Pinot Noir was harvested first followed by Chardonnay and Riesling, all achieving excellent flavour development.
The ideal weather meant we could pick each vineyard in prefect condition.
At this early stage the Chardonnay looks as good as anything we have seen in the six or seven years, with strong citrus and stonefruit characters and a lovely acid spine; the Riesling is showing lemon and lime with hints of peach and a strong acid core.
All our key Sauvignon Blanc vineyards were picked at a leisurely pace and in top shape, good concentration with passionfruit and floral aromatics are hallmarks of our best ferments.
All our different sites are showing thier typical flavour profiles with the Rapaura vineyard displaying strong floral notes, while the Whaihopai Valley vineyards are showing strong passionfruit characters.
Our Chaytors Road vineyard fruit is showing lovely tropical and red capsicum qualities, the barrel fermented portion of our Lawson's Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc is rich and aromatic, with the close lees contact that barrels allow starting to develop a lovely roundness.
We have a number of great tanks of Sauvignon Blanc and blending this vintage will be an absolute pleasure!
Over the last few years we have had a real focus on improving the quality of the fruit received into the winery by concentrating on and refining our viticultural practises, this focus is paying dividends with all our wines, none more so than with two of our star wines - Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris.
Close attention to detail at every stage has meant we have fine components for each wine both in barrel and stainless steel tanks.
Often a vintage will look better for some varieties than others; 2009 is looking fabulous across the board.